Robin Walker, Worcester’s local MP, has unreservedly praised and congratulated the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust for their officially Outstanding efficiency, care, responsivity and leadership.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust (WMAS) has been rated as Outstanding for a second time following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.
The CQC carried out an inspection between 24 April and 27 June 2019 and found that the Trust had maintained the high standards they found during their inspection in June 2016.
WMAS serves a population of approximately 5.6 million, covering 5,000 square miles across Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Coventry, Birmingham and Black Country. The inspection looked at the Trust’s core services of urgent and emergency care and patient transport services along with the leadership of the organisation.
It is rated as Outstanding for whether its services are effective, caring, responsive and well-led, and Good for whether its services are safe.
Inspectors found several areas of outstanding practice, including:
- The trust provided training for childbirth emergencies in community ‘Baby Lifeline training’. The training was first held and developed by frontline midwives and paramedics in 2018 with over 400 members in attendance.
- In 2018, West Midlands Ambulance Service became the first ambulance trust to be known as a ‘University Foundation Trust’. The trust works closely with four universities in the education of paramedics.
- The patient transport service was responsive to the changing needs of patients and provided sufficient vehicles, equipment and staff. This included reacting to and managing an increased demand in patients needing a stretcher.
- Overall key performance indicators were met by April 2019 ensuring an effective service that responded to patient needs.
- The service employed porters who worked on NHS sites with ambulance liaison assistants. Along with ambulance liaison assistants they supported patients waiting for transport to minimise patient distress.
Following the publication of the report, Robin said:
“This is absolutely fantastic news, I am delighted to see the diligence, extraordinary hard work and commitment of emergency responders recognised and credited.”
“WMAS is the second largest ambulance service in the United Kingdom and the first to receive a rating of Outstanding by the CQC, a testament to the high-quality service staff provide the public in their deepest hour of need.”
“Our exemplary emergency services staff work assiduously every day to protect and care for members of the public, saving lives on a daily basis. I was proud to support the Assault on Emergency Workers Bill last year, providing further legislative safeguards to protect those who protect us.”
“I warmly welcome this news and offer my sincerest congratulations to everyone at the WMAS.”
CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said:
“West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust was the first ambulance service in England to receive an Outstanding rating and I am pleased to announce that it continues to provide an excellent service.
“Effective structures, systems and processes were in place to support the service’s delivery. Leaders were visible and approachable and there was a clear vision and set of values that staff knew - with a focus on delivering high-quality sustainable care.
“There was a positive culture that supported and valued staff and a strong and embedded focus on continuous improvement to offer the best quality service for patients, and effective systems for identifying risks or plans to eliminate or reduce them.
“There are some areas where further improvements should be made, which we have fed back to its leadership, and we will return to check on progress. But overwhelmingly this is an Outstanding trust and the hard work of staff across the trust continues to be exemplary.
“West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust is making a real difference to people, and the trust and its staff should be very proud of what they do.”